OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 22,700 jobs in July and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate dropped slightly to 5.1 percent from June to July, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).
The peak level of unemployment during the coronavirus emergency was 16.3 percent in April of 2020. The June 2021 level was 5.2 percent.
“The state’s job market recovery has gathered considerable momentum this summer” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “But while additional progress over the next month is a reasonable expectation, the rise of the Delta variant could mute some of the rebound.”
ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.
The department also announced that June’s previously reported unemployment rate of 5.2 percent was confirmed. June’s preliminary estimated gain of 24,100 jobs was revised upward to a gain of 25,600 jobs.
The national unemployment rate dropped from 5.9 percent in June to 5.4 percent in July. In July 2020, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 10.2 percent.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 316,343 people in July, a decrease of 43,623 over the previous month.
Labor supply constraints are easing
The state’s labor force in July was 3,905,900 – an increase of 18,800 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 3,400 over the same period.
From July 2020 to July 2021, the state’s labor force decreased by 14,500 while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 27,100.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
From June to July, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 201,600 to 199,200. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 89,700 to 89,200 over the same period.
Nine industry sectors expanded, three industry sectors contracted and one industry sector remained constant in July
Private sector employment increased by 21,300 jobs while government employment increased by 1,400 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.
Industrial sectors leading the hiring gains are Leisure and hospitality, Education and health services, and Wholesale trade.